A. Moon ’99 MFA, Imaging and Digital Arts, Named Fulbright Scholar

A. Moon ’99 MFA, Imaging and Digital Arts, multimedia artist and staff member of the Academic Outreach and Engagement Division at Morgan State University, has received a Fulbright Research Award to examine the intersections between contemporary film production in Turkey and practices in the Asian American filmmaking community.

“My research will have two identifiable outcomes, motivated by a need for more open dialogue and cultural exchange, specifically within the area of film, between the U.S. and Turkey: (1) I will organize a screening of work by contemporary Asian American media artists to present in Turkey; and (2) I will curate a program of work by Turkish media artists to screen at venues in the United States.

A cross‐cultural study of Turkish and Asian American film presents the opportunity to examine many topical issues in the field of media studies including global/national identities, cultural memory, and hybridity. Just as Turkey is often described as occupying a peculiar geographic and cultural space that is “neither Eastern, nor Western but both and neither simultaneously” (Arslan, 2011), Asian Americans occupy a similarly interstitial position culturally and racially in contemporary America.”

Kate Brown, History, Wins the 2014 Ellis W. Hawley Prize from the Organization of American Historians

On Saturday, April 12 in Atlanta, History Associate Professor Kate Brown was awarded the 2014 Ellis W. Hawley Prize from the Organization of American Historians (OAH) for the best book-length historical study of the political economy, politics, or institutions of the United States, in its domestic or international affairs, from the Civil War to the present.


Brown received the award for her book, Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters (Oxford University Press, 2013), in which she tells the stories of Hanford, Washington and Ozersk, Russia. The Soviet and American governments created these communities to produce the plutonium that fueled the nuclear arms race during the Cold War.

In a press release announcing the award, OAH stated: “Brown notes that the major accidents at Hanford and Ozersk were largely unknown to the public, in contrast to the recognition today of Chernobyl and Fukushima. But the costs to the well-being of the workers and the environment were arguably far higher. This revelatory history provides a highly readable and deeply researched model of transnational history.”

Last month, Brown was awarded the 2014 George Perkins Marsh Prize from the American Society for Environmental History (ASEH), also for her book, Plutopia.

Jessica Berman, English, Appointed to the Modern Language Association’s Publications Committee

Jessica Berman, Director of the Dresher Center for the Humanities and Professor of English, has been appointed to a three-year term to serve on the Modern Language Association’s (MLA) Publications Committee.

The committee oversees all of MLA’s book publication programs, including its “Approaches to Teaching World Literature” and “Teaching Languages Literatures and Cultures” series. It assesses prospectuses and approves final manuscripts and it’s also charged with consulting on priorities and policies for the scholarly communication program and assisting with new initiatives in scholarly communication. Congratulations, Dr. Berman!

Justin Jacobs, Statistics Ph.D. Student, Receives Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering

Justin Jacobs, a doctoral candidate in statistics at UMBC, has won the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering (PECASE). This is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers, and recognizes Justin’s work with the intelligence community.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper presents UMBC's Justin Jacobs with PECASE honor.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (far right) presents UMBC’s Justin Jacobs (center right) with his PECASE plaque.

Justin received the award from Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on January 23, 2014, and he will be recognized by President Obama in a ceremony at the White House later this month.

At UMBC, Justin is being co-advised by Anindya Roy and John Zweck (now at UT Dallas), and plans to graduate this May. His dissertation is titled, “Density Estimation on Differential Manifolds.” He is completing his Ph.D. while employed with the National Security Agency.

President Clinton established the PECASE award program in 1996. The White House website notes, “Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach.” Learn more about PECASE and this year’s recipients in this White House Press release.

Congratulations, Justin, for this is a remarkable achievement!

Asian Studies Program Holds First Food Pantry at Longwood Apartments in Howard County

Asian Studies food pantry

Asian Studies Food Pantry at Longwood Apartments in Columbia, Md.

On Saturday, April 5, the Asian Studies Program had its first, successful food pantry at the Longwood Apartments (Section 8 HUD housing and Senior Center) in Columbia, Maryland, where organizers provided the residents, mainly Korean and Chinese, with food to supplement their food stamp allowances. Six Asian Studies student volunteers helped the pantry to run smoothly and communicated with the residents in Korean and Chinese.

The food pantry program has been greatly assisted with a start-up grant from BreakingGround. It has involved Boy Scout groups and faith-based groups as well as the UMBC community in the effort. Asian Studies Program Management Specialist Julie Rosenthal runs the Howard County non-profit Food on the 15th, which partnered with the Asian Studies Program to develop a free food pantry for the residents of Longwood Apartments. Organizers hope to hold the pantry monthly.

Kevin Wisniewski, LLC Doctoral Student, Named 2014 Michael Denker Chesapeake Chapter Fellow

Language, Literacy and Culture doctoral student Kevin A. Wisniewski was recently named a 2014 Michael Denker Chesapeake Chapter Fellow at the American Printing History Association. The fellowship is named after a former Chesapeake Chapter president, and it offers a one-year membership and active participation in the association’s various activities throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, including a presentation of original research at an upcoming symposium on the history of colonial printing and typography.

Kevin Wisniewski

Wisniewski will also be presenting a paper at the upcoming American Literature Association’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C. with professors from Ohio University, the College of William and Mary and the University of Massachusetts from May 22-25 in a panel entitled, “Graphic Humor in the 19th-Century Periodical.”

Finally, Wisniewski’s review of Michael David Cohen’s monograph Reconstructing the Campus: Higher Education and the American Civil War (University of Virginia Press, 2012) is forthcoming in the journal Civil War History, and he is awaiting the publication of sections he completed on the early American republic for a forthcoming online, Open Access American History textbook entitled American Yawp. 

The project is edited by Joseph Locke (University of Texas-Pan American) and Ben Wright (Rice University) and boasts an impressive editorial board that includes Edward Ayers, Kathleen Brown, Joyce Chaplin, Woody Holton, James Merrell and Richard White.

Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, Participates in Community Development Program in Appalachia

Honors College Professor Ellen Handler Spitz recently traveled to Sewanee, Tennessee to the University of the South, where she was invited as a guest lecturer in the pioneering program, “Child, Family and Community Development in Rural Appalachia.”

EHS at Sewanee

Ellen Handler Spitz reads to children as part of the “Child, Family and Community Development in Rural Appalachia” program.

The program is sponsored by the University of the South, The Yale Child Study Center and Scholastic. A major goal of the program is to help children and families in poverty-stricken Appalachia while building community and fostering a rich cultural life.

As part of the program, Spitz lectured and read story books to four groups of children ranging from three to six years old and met with colleagues and planners, sitting in on a variety of sessions and classes that involve the program, the arts, children’s literature and psychology.

Lee Hawthorne Calizo, OSL, Recognized as ACPA Diamond Honoree

lee_calizo_300x375Lee Hawthorne Calizo, Director of Student Life, was recognized at the American College Personnel Association’s National Conference in Indianapolis in this years class of Diamond Honorees.

Lee was nominated by colleagues who believe she has distinguished herself as a teacher, administrator, researcher, writer, and an association leader. In addition, Lee has demonstrated sustained contributions to ACPA, higher education, and the Student Affairs profession at the local, state, regional, national, or international levels.

Shriver Center Peaceworker Fellows Meet With City Council

P1060529The Shriver Center’s Peaceworker Fellows recently met with City Council President Jack Young and City Councilman Jim Kraft to discuss their history of public service and their vision for moving Baltimore forward.

UMBC’s Peaceworker Fellows have worked in public service internships at City Hall with Councilman Kraft for nearly a decade. This partnership has allowed Peaceworker alumni to hold positions in various City Hall offices.

The above photo features the current cohort of Peaceworker Fellows at Baltimore City Hall on March 28, joined by Peaceworker alumni Kristyn Oldendorf from Councilman Kraft’s Office, Lisa Fink from the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, Cailin Benson from Council President Young’s Office and Brian Greenan from the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Neighborhood Development.

Freshman Goalkeeper Connor Gordon Named America East Rookie of the Week

UMBC red-shirt freshman goalkeeper Connor Gordon has been named America East Conference Men’s Lacrosse Rookie of the Week for games ending March 29, the league office announced on March 31.

Gordon fell one save shy of his season high, making 15 stops against Stony Brook as the Retrievers prevailed, 12-11, in overtime.

The Retriever netminder made a one-on-one save with his team two men down midway through overtime, setting up Pat Young’s game-winning goal with 9.6 seconds to play in extra time. He has recorded more saves than goals allowed in eight of his nine starts for UMBC (5-4, 1-0 America East) this season.

Gordon is averaging 12.33 saves per game, good for sixth place in the nation through games of March 30. His save percentage is an outstanding 56.3 percent, which is 14th-best in the country.